Finland's Eckhardt wins Lytham Trophy in playoff

Albert Eckhardt became the first Finnish player to win the Lytham Trophy when he survived a playoff against Jack Hume of Ireland on Sunday.

Echhardt arrived at the Open Championship venue well under the radar at 430th in the World Amateur Golf Ranking, yet he upset a star-studded field to win one of the most prestigious events in British amateur golf.

Rounds of 73-72-69-73 for a 7-over total of 287 earned him a playoff with Hume, ranked No. 700 in the world. Eckhardt won the playoff to follow in the footsteps of European Tour player Mikko Ilonen who won the 2000 British Amateur Championship at Royal Liverpool.

France’s Julien Marot and Kristian Johannessen of Norway finished in third place, four shots out of the playoff.

Northern Ireland’s Reeve Whitson improved his Walker Cup chances by finishing fifth. Whitson won the Spanish Amateur earlier this year, and many expect him to play in this year’s Walker Cup. Great Britain & Ireland Walker Cup captain Nigel Edwards was at Lytham with his team of selectors, and Whitson’s performance will be duly noted.

English amateur Nathan Kimsey also did his Walker Cup chances the power of good with a sixth-place finish. Kimsey recently won the Terra Cotta Invitational in Florida.

Other Walker Cup hopefuls included England’s Toby Tree and Graeme Robertson of Scotland. They finished T-8.

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